I am working for a US based organization as the IT Development Team Lead. In our IT group, we have requirement elicitation team who is the interface to our group. The requirement elicitation team works for IT Group. We usually get business requirements from the Business group. The Business group works for Business and operations of Organization. Both groups are partners to deliver quality IT products which deliver high returns to the Organization.

Recently I learned that the Business team had a new team lead who already has some conflicts with the requirement elicitation team lead. Incidents are reported that some heated arguments occurred recently on some of the topics. I am hearing complaints and also many rumors with in our group. The Business team is the one who has final approval and sign off to release a product into the market. If product doesn’t go into the market it means product failed before entering into the market.

With the current situation, I feel that it may impact my development team. How can I protect myself and my team from potential negative impact of the conflicts between the Requirement Elicitation team lead and the Business team lead?

  • 2
    If the requirement elicitation team is the interface to your group then honor that. Don't put yourself in conflict. You are not in a position to fix the conflict.
    – paparazzo
    Nov 16, 2015 at 5:38
  • One place I worked at two of the managers used to fight each other, usually after a work's evening out in the car park. Everyone used to just watch and otherwise leave them to it. This is what I'd do here too, let them work it out themselves and otherwise get on with doing your job.
    – gbjbaanb
    Nov 17, 2015 at 10:40

2 Answers 2


Stick to the sidelines and remain professional

If you receive conflicting priorities from the both of them then be sure to address them both on an e-mail (so you have a documented history of the conversation) asking them to identify the way forward.

Don't favor either side

I would avoid approaching one of them over the other asking for their input as long as the conflicts aren't being resolved professionally. The situation you want to avoid is having one lead overrule the other and not have given the losing lead a chance for input. Provided you allow them to make the choices and have documented proof of the decisions that have been made your team should be well protected.

They will likely remain at odds for each other until something more formal has been done but it's not your responsibility to get involved here and your responsibility to yourself and your team is to keep things as professional as you can whilst also providing a clear history of interactions between you and your team leaders.

Avoid the rumor mill

I am hearing complaints and also many rumors with in our group.

Don't buy into gossip. It sounds like these are both managers equal to or above you and it's not your responsibility to take action based upon a complaint. If somebody in the business is complaining to you then you should be referring them to the appropriate manager or human resources. If you can do something to resolve the complaint you should still do so but you shouldn't be the one bearing the responsibility for their personal conflict.

Likewise if you hear gossip rumors about the two then don't engage the person telling you. You don't want to get involved in gossiping about these people, especially when it sounds like in some capacity you report to both of them.

  • 1
    spot on, stay out of it unless you have authority over the team leads
    – Kilisi
    Nov 16, 2015 at 5:56
  • 1
    Agree - this needs to be duked out at a level above you. Document your work, maintain good communications. I have been in one of these situations on the business side before. It isn't pretty.
    – LexieLou
    Nov 16, 2015 at 21:22
  • 1
    @Codingo Very well written answer
    – schizoid04
    Jun 9, 2017 at 0:48

With current hot situation, I feel that it may impact development team.

The keyword here is may. You feel that this conflict between the two teams might cause damage to your team, so my question to you is Why not sit down with both the business and requirements team leads and discuss? Try to find out more about the nature of the conflict, especially given the case there are rumors, as you have stated. Rational business decisions require good information, and the information you have currently is flimsy at best (heated arguments, rumors etc).

To summarize, I recommend you take the reins and be proactive by first gathering more information about the nature of the conflict, and then deciding based on facts stated, rather than rumors / hearsay what to do next.

  • 1
    "Why not sit down with both the business and requirements team leads and discuss?" - it sounds like these are both managers of his. It's really not his place to do so outside of a professional context. This is very much going to get him involved and personally I would strongly advise against it.
    – Michael A
    Nov 16, 2015 at 2:23

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